Has pinpointed parcel behind F&M Bank
A development company has targeted a long-vacant parcel of land in Northtown for a potential apartment complex.
The north Mt. Juliet acreage is located on about 15 acres behind F&M Bank, which is adjacent to Kroger. At this time the only other rumored potential use would be as a stock-yard for West Wilson Utility, which is based near there.
"We never thought it (the land) would never be nothing," said local businessman John Sloan of the prime piece of property. "We knew it would be developed sometime."
Details of the project proposed by Carroll Company - out of South Carolina - were revealed during a packed early Wednesday meeting of the Mt. Juliet Northtown Business Council sponsored by the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. It was nearly standing-room only with local business owners eager to hear about the project.
Developer checking the pulse of neighbors
Civil Site engineer Rob Porter spoke for Carroll Company about the project that will have about 300 units. He said Carroll Company built Glass Creek apartments in south Mt. Juliet on Pleasant Grove Road, and his purpose was to get "a feel" and pulse of the local community and see if the project could be embraced.
Recently there was some protest from neighbors on Nonaville Road about acreage there long-zoned for apartments. That project is now idle with the property back up for sale. However, if ever sold, multi-family housing would be its use.
City Commissioner Ray Justice spoke about the backlash on that proposed apartment complex, but indicated the proposed apartments behind F&M Bank could be a good use for general area.
"We understand it (a positive supportive nod from Northtowners) will take a good sales job, but the project is pretty cool," Porter said.
By "cool," Porter described the project as very upscale apartments with granite countertops, three stories, a clubhouse and pool.
"The rent on these will most likely be more expensive that most of our monthly mortgages," he said.
A second prong to the project will be a lot of open space and a greenway that will be along Cedar Creek, along with interconnecting sidewalks within the complex.
Impact on local schools
When asked about an influx of people living there affecting already crowded schools and traffic, Porter noted the ongoing construction of the $14.5 million Eastern Connector that will eventually provide an eastern bypass from Lebanon Road all the way to the Beckwith Road interchange.
"It will help alleviate any traffic the apartments might bring," Porter said.
He also noted the soon-to-be-revamped light synchronization will flow traffic in the area at a more optimum rate.
Justice reminded those there about the two-year sidewalk project that will provide sidewalks on both sides of Lebanon Road in that general area.
Porter further detailed the Wilson County School Board's plans for the construction of a new elementary, middle and high school in the West Wilson area.
"These will take the strain off our existing schools," he noted.
Mt. Juliet Economic Director Dennis Buchanan was present and talked about the potential economic uptick from the presence of the apartments. Porter and Buchanan encouraged the business leaders present to cheerlead for the project if they believed it was the "highest and best possible use" of the property.
Justice indicated if the project moves forward through the appoval phase he would vote for it.
"But, I'll need votes on the city commission along with mine and a campaign of sorts (to get support)," Justice said. "I'm asking you to reach out to the commissioners and the mayor. This is not a bad thing."
Proposal getting mixed reviews
Local real estate agent Kevin Pigg said he heard some people express concern about traffic and increased crime. Porter said Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick said generally there are fewer calls about crime from local apartments than some of the bigger subdivisions.
Longtime agent Brad Cather deals with apartment developments all the time.
"I think this is a great deal for Mt. Juliet," he said. "It's a quality developer," he said and referred to Glass Creek apartments. "It will be a good and balanced development."
Tony Benken of Big Star Cigar Lounge in Northtown said after the meeting he supported the project.
"This is really a no-brainer to me," he said. "I'm a small business owner, and I think the economic impact of this will help the city and the surrounding areas."
Porter said he will continue to feel the pulse of the community about this potential project, and if it remains positive will help the developer move the project through the proper government channels.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at email@example.com.